Acts 22:17 - 23:10
In Acts, what is happening to Paul at the hands of the Jewish leaders is the culmination of a human heart who has forgotten God. The Sanhedrin and mob mentality would not tolerate others who thought differently. Love does not seek its own way! When people are passionate, it becomes hard for the mind to speak because emotion at the heart of passion can blind reason. Now passion is great but it cannot be the platform void of reason. I believe when we “feel” so strongly without balancing with reason based in truth, feelings will justify evil in the face of truth - this is the very definition of deception. Paul then pits the Sanhedrin upon itself by making a moral equivalence between what was happening to him and the philosophical position of the Pharisees as it differed from the Sadducees. This was masterful from the position of distraction, but was it true? Jesus had just spoken to Paul to leave immediately but Paul did not leave. This is very subtle, but in my opinion true. If true, we see even Paul’s humanity and sacrifice obedience. What I find most powerful is that the Bible does not "whitewash" negative or less than positive actions of its imperfect agents. Would Paul have been protected and free if he had just listened to Jesus? We do not know! What we do know is when Paul goes to jail, he does some of his best work for the kingdom of God! This is a testimony of how God can use even our disobedience to His glory. So let us not focus too much on where we have been, but listen to that still small voice today and focus on where we are to do God's Will. Amen.